“Who we are” is a very wide question.
In one of the many aspects, we are who we raised to be. By the society around us, by our country, our law system. Our personality gets formed a lot from/for our friends, and the ‘other’ people that are surrounding us. A big and interesting place is taken by the school and our parents!
I’m not a father yet, but I keep asking myself “How would I like to raise my kids? With what influences would I want to shape my kids childhood?”
While one of our journeys around the world Wilfina and I have been discussing about this subject.
Home Schooling came up.
From our past experiences – Wilfina, who used to be a teacher and I, who grew up partly with my “hippie” father at the beach in Israel – came a lot of confidence to explore this way. Still a lot of unsolved doubts and questions were hanging in the air. With this state of mind we reached a lovely and peaceful beach in Sinai on the astonishing rich Red Sea.
One of the highlights and the first thing we noticed were the five happy, free minded kids, from three different families and two different nationalities and religions. Running around the beach, chilling with the temporary guests, having Free Diving classes and the most important -for me- living in a mature, beautiful harmony with everything and everyone around them: Jewish and Muslim, age difference, and funny extra open-minded people (Marijuana smokers).
Everything was on the table, there were no secrets and nor the parents nor the kids were trying to makes things look “better” than how it really is!! Even when the kids were ‘fighting’, they were having a mature and open discussion where every child could say what he felt without hurting another.
This blew my mind, everything that we doubted was there, waiting for us to see, to learn.
I had to see the whole picture, is there anything that we can’t see? I decided to talk with the parents and understand the whole story.
The bottom line:
- less expenses in life-money doesn’t go to useless places (taxation, rent, school, cleaning products for the house, etcetra);
- More quality time with/for the kids. Every parent is teaching the kids a different subject, they have a lot of free time to play, talk and give space to each other.
- The growth of the kids, there was more calmness, more acceptance between them and to the whole surrounding. The parents were nothing but satisfied.
- Beautiful connection to the nature. An amazing girl, Free Diving Instructor, was volunteering to teach them the mastery of their own bodies and to listen to/flow with the huge force of the sea.
What else a kid can ask?
An accepting and clear surrounding, learning the basic and important Knowledge for his development, experiencing every day in its full potential – no distractions, no obligations to unnecessary systems.
And the beauty and calmness of the Nature always around !
On the other hand we have the ‘normal’ way of living and educating..
I like to call it the Domesticated way.
The Parents are mostly busy, making money, taking babysitters and running after some “quality time”. Creating a reality that is based on screen-time, social media. It’s the easier solution of what-to-do when there is no one home. A reality that actually makes you escape from the Real experiences of life.
A school system that is giving too much space to numbers and dealing less with the depth, the roots.
Competition instead of Unity.
Small example is the history class, what are we learning there? Mostly it is about the first World War, the second World War and the period in between. For what reason the focus is on the wars? Is this the knowledge we want to give our kids?
Why are we not using all this precious time and stage to expand our kids minds to see the big picture, the big time lap, to study about the human history since we started to be intelligent creatures.
We can do better, in my opinion.
Taking more responsibility ourselves for our children’s education and environment.
Develop in them the important values that are actually building our deepest being;
Love, sharing, creativity, imagination, a clean and strong self-esteem, accepting life as they are without escapes.
To face different realties, to meet variety of people, to expand ourselves, instead of staying in a comfort zone.
It is hard, it’s so much out of the box that our left side of the brain can’t preserve this. It can’t be that it’s so easy, and if it is: why are we not doing it differently?
Fears, sticking to the familiar, to the herd, the safe.
There are different ways of schooling, it can be home schooling in a van or Steiner Education and way more varities of education streams. If we care enough we will find! We will create!
What is more important than giving our kids the right state of mind, the glasses that will help them to see clearly and to go explore this world.
One last story before I close this article:
We moved to live in a van. After three years of backpacking it gets heavy on the back, and the soul wanted some more steadiness, some ground to put the roots in, some structure that will help us grow, to process, to move all the wisdom and the inspiration that we get from traveling and seeing different cultures.
After visiting our families in Holland and Denmark and our brother in France, we went to the woods for a night (that extend for a week, oops).
Arriving at the parking lot, we see another red van, a twin, just four times double than our. This van is the house of two parents, six children, two dogs and a cat.
All of them where warm and welcoming, sharing with us “strangers” recycled hand-made animals from collected garbage, leaves and branches. Wow this was inspiring and heart filling, kids that get raised to the life style of unconditional sharing – even with people they just met!
“How you do this?”, I asked the father.
“Just listening to myself and to my kids. Every day we wake up, we see how the sky looks like and decide what we are doing. The kids are happy!”
Not to forget to mention that the kids get educated by the parents: home schooling on wheels!
“How do you choose what to teach them? Are you following any program?”
“Not a formed program, with every kid we sit and find out what he want to learn, what is his passion and interest. We buy the books and use technology. In this way the kid doesn’t hate studying (subjects he is not interested in), can enjoy and be focussed on his passion.”.
So what about the money?
– There are plenty solutions..
When a family is acting together as an ecosystem without separation of working parents and studying kids.
All in one. The kids working together with the parents, the same as the parents study with the kids. For this family as an example, part of the year they were dedicated to work in the family olive tree plantation.
As a modern society we forget the power of the family, the strength of this seed.
What are we in a rush for? What are we trying to catch?..
More money to give to your kids when we leave Mother Earth?
If we really love our kids we should give them the life that they deserve to have, while we are living.
Life is about what you do, not about what that will remain.